I have counseled hundreds of women on breastfeeding during my career as a postpartum doula. This isn't for bragging rights, but to let you know that breastfeeding is not difficult in most instances. There are times when a medical condition interferes, but most challenges have to do with latch and positioning.
These tips will get you off to a great start. There is nothing complicated here, and you do not need to spend money on any of it.
1) Set up one or two areas in your house where you are comfortable breastfeeding. Have a basket with snacks and phone and other items you want nearby. There could be comfortable pillows and a good straight back chair. And you can learn how to comfortably and safely side lie nursing in bed.
2) Maintain a healthy diet. Try to eat healthful snacks and meals, You can enlist friends and family to help with this. Stay hydrated. Drink fluids like water, juice, and other liquids with little or no sugar and caffeine.
3) Minimize the company. Many mothers want to have family and friends over to celebrate the birth. You may not realize how exhausting this can be. When you are learning the rhythm of breastfeeding it is best to focus on your baby to learn her cues.
4) Learn your baby’s feeding cues, and general body language. This will support you in knowing when it is time to feed your baby, time to play, time to sleep or time to calm. Learning these cues early on will benefit your baby and you by building your milk supply and tending to your baby’s needs.
5) Accept pampering. Allow your partner or support person to gently massage your shoulders. Let someone bring you a meal in bed. Ask others to bring your favorite meal or snack when they visit. Take a nice long shower to relax when your baby is asleep.
6) Line up support before birth. You can reach out to a breastfeeding professional, join La Leche League or find someone you know that has been successful and can share their experience and help.
7) Observe your baby while you breastfeed. Listen for swallows, and feel the latch-on. There should not be any pain. It is about what the baby is doing at the breast, and not the time spent there. When baby is latching properly and getting enough milk breastfeeding flows smoothly.
8) Be patient with yourself and your baby. Remember that you are both learning a new skill, even though it is a natural process. Neither one of you have done this before, together.
9) Get plenty of rest. Even if you have been in bed all night long, stay there until you have had enough stretches of sleep. This may take 12 hours instead of 8. Keep your baby close to breastfeed, and feel the benefits of sleep for healing and sound mind.
10) Listen to positive stories and successes of other mothers. This will inspire you to continue breastfeeding. There is great value for you to be around other breastfeeding mothers and to be able to ask questions and share challenges and concerns.
Check out the blog post, Ten Pregnancy Tips, and start your journey of birth in the know!!
Sharing my knowledge and wisdom about all things birth